Islamabad     -    Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Health Services on Saturday announced that government will provide health insurance to families of overseas Pakistani labourers under ‘Sehat Sahulat’ programme.

SAPM on NHS Dr Zafar Mirza said this in a joint press briefing held with SAPM on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development (OPHRD) Sayed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari.

Dr Mirza said that both ministries will work in collaboration to provide health insurance to Pakistani labour class working in other countries to share their economical burden.

Elaborating the details of the programme, he said that scheme will be expanded across the country to provide health insurance to the families of working abroad.

He said that though the Sehat Sahult Programme has been launched in 43 districts so far while for overseas Pakistanis ministry will empanel more hospitals in the remaining districts.

He said that the scheme will be launched in the month of October for the fresh labourers going out of the country, while in the next stage already established Pakistanis will be also made part of the program.

He said that Sehat Sahulat Card covers the health expense upto Rs720000 in which all major and unaffordable diseases will be treated under this insurance. He said that in Tharparkar and areas of former FATA, each family is being provided this health insurance.

Responding to the query asked by the termination of Pakistani doctors’ jobs in Saudi Arabia and other gulf countries, Dr Zafar Mirza said that the ministry through foreign office has contacted with the government of Saudi Arabia on this matter.  “I have written a letter to bring facts on the issue,” he said. He said that rights of Pakistani doctors working abroad will be secured by the ministry. Dr Zafar Mirza also said that the ministry will also have to look into the rules and regulations of the other country and act accordingly. SAPM on OPHRD Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari said that both ministries will share expenses of the insurance of this program equally.

He said that in first step the insurance will be provided to new labour going out of the country and in next step established Pakistanis outside will be added in the programme.

He said that the step has been taken to facilitate the families of overseas Pakistani labour in Pakistan.

“It will lessen the economic burden on the labour working out of the country,” he said.

Responding to the query he said that around 2300 Pakistanis were imprisoned in Saudi jails out of which 1050 have released by the Saudi government. He said other than the imprisoned numbers, 1400 Pakistanis have been deported also.

He also said that Prime Minister had also discussed the problems of Pakistani labor class with the crown prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammad Bin Salman.

“Families of this labour class is largely dependent on loans to cover their expenses and this health insurance will be relief for the families,” he said.

Syed Zulfiqar Bukhari also urged overseas Pakistanis to stage protests infront of Indian missions on August 15 to express solidarity with the Kashmir cause.

He said that all overseas Pakistanis should come out and observe black day on August 15.